What’s Up DOC?

By July 28, 2012Winemakers

This isn’t Bugs Bunny talking but a wine lover joking with another wine lover. The DOC is capitalized and refers to Denominazione di Origine Controllata, Italy’s equivalent of the French Appellation d’Origine Controllée, or AOC. A wine that has the DOC designation

A factory of Parmigiano-Reggiano. There are tw...

A factory of Parmigiano-Reggiano. There are two storerooms, both with 20 of these shelves. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

represents the top percentile of Italian wines, actually less than half of Italy’s annual production.  A rough translation is “controlled place of origin.” It is the consumers’ guarantee that the product actually comes from that area. Italy has developed equivalent DOCs for Parmigiano cheese and Parma ham, as an example.

There are 332 different DOCs in Italy and 60 DOCGs, one step up in quality. Going through the list of DOCs is a lesson in geography and actually one of the best ways to become familiar with the terrain. For instance my Italian heritage is part Marchegiano, a region just east of Tuscany along the Adriatic. The Marche region has a total of 15 different DOCs:

Bianchello del Metauro, Colli Maceratesi, Colli Pesaresi, Esino, Falerio dei Colli Ascolani, I Terreni di San Severino, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, Offida, Pergola, Rosso Conero, San Ginesio, Serrapetrona, Rosso Piceno, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica.

One of the fun dimensions of being a wine lover is to try and track down as many of these DOCs as you can, either in wine shops on this side of the Atlantic, or better yet, on a visit to Italy. Put that in your bucket list.

In a side note, one of the world’s  least recognized wine regions made the NY Times (7/8/12) recently: the Turkish island of  Bozcaada, which we visited on one of our tours 3 years ago.


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